Saturday, July 30, 2011

"Training" Ride - Chapel Hill, IN

That's right. I rode my bike to Chapel Hill today. Chapel Hill, Indiana anyway. Just a little different than the one in North Carolina that I love so much... :)

Here's the route:

Time: 2:43:55

Distance: 40.357 miles

Average Speed: 14.7 mph

Max Speed: 35.2 mph

That's right... I fixed my cycle computer last night. I'm really unhappy about what I had to do to make it work. Apparently after replacing the battery, you have to do a hard reset. It erases all the data (which in my case was just the odometer, but I'm really unhappy about that. I mean, kind of defeats the purpose of having an odometer...) and you have to reprogram all your variables (wheel size, weight, etc) into it. So, yay for it working, boo for it being a crappy cycle computer.

Anyway, it was a great day for a ride! I wanted to make this a training/leisure ride. I wanted to go hard and fast! But I also wanted to take pictures. So I did a little combination of the two. It worked out well. I feel like I rode hard, but still stopped to take pictures of things that I really wanted to.

I woke up at 6:00 (yep, officially insane) and had some oatmeal with peanut butter and a banana. It took me a little longer to get a move on than I wanted, but I am slow moving in the morning. I made it out the door between 7:30 and 8:00. I had wanted to leave around 7:00. I need to work on that.

I saw a deer eating apples from a tree in someone's front yard on Swartz Ridge Road. I also rescued a turtle from getting run over. Turtle road kill makes me really sad. :(

I made it to 446 and was feeling pretty good. Dripping in sweat, but super happy to be out riding my bike for something other than commuting finally. I even saw 4 or 5 other cyclists on 446 going the other way. I hadn't ridden that far out on 446 before and was not excited to find that the shoulder disappears eventually. However, it wasn't too bad and was great incentive to push and go fast. Until I saw this church anyway. I liked it too much to not stop and take a picture.

Around mile 11 I got to ride over Lake Monroe. It was beautiful. Unfortunately, not a good place to stop and take pictures. I also skirted Hoosier National Forest on this road. Smokey the Bear says Fire Danger Low today!

I made the turn towards Chapel Hill. When I got there, this is what I saw.

The old church was pretty much it. :)

So I made my way back home. I got a little turned around at one point and did a little loop-da-loop, but corrected myself pretty fast. For once I listened to my intuition instead of my directions! Sometimes directions are weird, especially on middle-of-nowhere roads.

It warmed up considerably after 10:00. I think if it continues to be hot like this, I'll try to plan my rides to be home by then instead of 11:00. However, I did a really good job on that aspect today. I planned to be home by 11:00 and I walked in my door with three minutes to spare.

I'm working on things to eat while riding my bike. Today I had a Honey Stinger Waffle and a Clif Shot Energy Gel Razz flavor. The Honey Stinger Waffle was kind of like eating a cookie. It tastes really good, but I didn't feel energized after eating it. Although I'm not sure if that was due to the waffle or the weather. I did feel energized after eating the Clif Shot, but it was sort of gross. I've also tried a couple of Gu gels and haven't been the biggest fan of the way they taste either. I do like the Gu chomps though. I also like Jelly Belly Sports Beans. However, those things aren't super easy to eat while actually riding. I'm thinking I need to find some of these gel things in a flavor I like.

Anyway, overall I had a great ride. I'm SO glad I got out. I felt really strong the whole ride, until it got really hot around 10:30 or so and I wilted a little. I'm glad that just commuting hasn't made me lose my legs. :)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Commute X2 and Review

Pretty uneventful commute. Still hot. Still humid. Still headwind. All this commuting has me aching for a real ride. I'm making an early date with my bike in the morning. I hope to ride to Chapel Hill. Indiana, that is.

Tentative route here.

Today I packed light and ditched my pannier for the ChicoBag messenger bag that I won. This morning I thought the bag was great! It's light and stylish and held my stuff. I like the magnet closure and the fact that it has a couple zippered pockets for the really important stuff. Also, I was worried about sweatiness, but it wasn't a problem this morning.

This afternoon, however, I had considerable problems with keeping the bag behind me. It kept sliding around and trying to sit in my lap, which is about the last thing you want when battling cars during Friday afternoon rush hour! However, I know that they make a messenger bag stabilizing strap that they highly recommend purchasing if you plan to use your messenger bag as a... messenger bag. I feel that that may help, so I'll look into getting one of those.

However, from this test ride, my bike did feel less weird than it has been, so I'm thinking that the offness I talked about yesterday is due to riding with one fairly heavy pannier. I'll have a better idea after my morning bike date. :)

Thursday, July 28, 2011


I had to work late today (and in fact have to go back in a bit). Boo.

It's hot out there. Headwind (seems to be the norm lately). I had a car get in front of me and then hit the brakes at a green light. Had to dodge him and it made me miss the next light so I had to wait with the sun in my face. No idea why he stopped. Also, my bike feels weird. I don't know if I've misaligned a tire or if it's from riding with one pannier, but something feels off.



It was like a cycling highway out there this morning. I saw tons and tons of people on bikes! Love it!

I just can't decide if I want to do the Hoosiers Outrun Cancer 5K with my husband or the Lake Lemon Triathlon on September 24th. Decisions, decisions.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Commute X2

Man, I love Bloomington Bagel Company.

Also, I mapped out my commute today. I thought it was about 5 miles each way, but now that I ride to the gym, my daily commute is just over 12 miles roundtrip. That's 10 extra miles a week I haven't been accounting for.

Of course, if my cyclecomputer hadn't mysteriously died, I wouldn't have to estimate at all.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Commute X2 and CycleFit

Back to being pretty hot today. I raced a lot of cars on my commutes today. Lots of people using the B Line and Clear Creek Trails.

I went to CycleFit today to ask Judy how she did at RAIN. She said it went really well. I may have to do it next year. I mean, I want to be an Ironman, surely I can ride across Indiana in one day. :)

No PR breaking in CycleFit today. But I have definitely improved. I burned 458 kJ today. I should redo my power zone challenge! I could definitely tell that I run a 5K yesterday though. My muscles are so tight. Feels good. :)

Yay for shameless plugs!

Remember this post about my friend's giveaway blog and the messenger bag I wanted to win?

Well, I won it! It came in the mail yesterday. Yay!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Commute X2 and 5K

Today must have been "Back out your driveway in an attempt to hit a cyclist" Day. I dodged four, seriously FOUR, cars in the above mentioned scenario today. However, I did make it to work, to the SRSC, and back home in one slightly annoyed piece. The weather is still hot, but a vast improvement over last week. In the 90s, but only 65-70% humidity. Felt like spring! Also, on my way home, I got to ride through a flock of shirtless men running on the Clear Creek Trail. I love living in a college town.

In other news, I think I'm having a quarter life crisis. I have the crazy idea that I NEED to be an Iron(wo)man before I turn 30. Couch to Ironman in four years? I'm confident that I could ride my bike 112 miles. Slowly, but I could do it. And I'm fairly certain that I can train to run and swim as well. I think I'm going to do it.

Do or do not. There is no tri?

So with that line of thought, I just up and ran a 5K today. Just to see if I could and what kind of baseline I'm working with. I've never run that far in my life. But I did it in 34:43, which included walking one lap and stopping at the water fountain twice. It hurt, but I feel pretty awesome with a sub-35 time!

Maybe I'll sign up for the Lake Lemon triathlon...

Friday, July 22, 2011

Commute X2

It's still pretty toasty outside. This morning there was some construction to navigate. The skunk is still there. I'm getting pretty tan.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Jesus, it's hot as Hades out there. Rode to bell choir and then detoured to Feast in search of tamales again. Had to settle for cheese as they were out of both roasted vegetable and chipotle chicken. I just don't understand how a place known for their tamales runs out of them on a daily basis. It's not like I roll up at closing time. They should prepare better. /endrant


Nothing to note today. I made it to work! Woo!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Took a detour to Feast for that tamale I've wanted all day. They gave the very last tamale they had to the girl in front of me. Should have gone at lunch.

Took it easy and I think it's cooled off a little. I was almost home before I started dripping with sweat!


I'm not going to complain about how hot it is.

I got a slow start this morning. Traffic at 9:00 is way less than at 8:00. I did, however, see a crazy lady with a baby and a large dog doing sit-ups in the parking lot to the Clear Creek Trail. I wanted to tell her that she could do those in her air conditioned house, but really I was just jealous of her motivation because I had a hard time convincing myself to get up and ride my bike five miles, let alone pack up a baby and a dog to go do sit ups and run.

I also learned today that the HPER really picks up after 9:00. I saw more people in there today than I have the entire time I've been bike commuting. There was even another girl in the locker room!

I really wanted to ride my bike to Feast for lunch, but geez, it's hot out there.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Had to ride home at lunch time today to get my car so I could pick up a friend at the airport. Bloomington is so busy at lunch time! However, while I was stopped at a light, a guy pulled up in the turn lane and complimented my bike. Apparently he likes Surly.

However, I'm ready for this heat wave to be over now. It's so hot and humid and hazy. I swear the air is heavy. You step outside and wear it like a coat. It's awful. Wind doesn't even help. :-/


I felt like one with my bicycle this morning. It's going to be a good day.

Monday, July 18, 2011


I really, really miss my bike computer. :-/

It's hot outside. And you'd think after two weeks, someone would remove that dead, smelly skunk from the road.


Replacing the battery didn't help. Seth says we can look into the iphone though. :)

Why do people speed up to pass me (especially when I'm doing the speed limit) just to stop at a stop sign? So annoying.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Well it definitely warmed up. Took it easy on the way home today. I'm really enjoying being a bike commuter. I think I'll keep it up even after Seth gets back from Purdue.


Man, it's bright out there! However, this weather is perfection. P.E.R.F.E.C.T.I.O.N.

I really miss my cycle computer. I need to know how fast I'm going! I'm thinking it may be the battery on the fork sensor. I'll replace it and see what happens. Here's to hoping I can get it alive until I convince my husband I need an iphone for my birthday. :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


My shorts were still damp from this morning's ride. Lame. Other lesson learned: don't leave shorts closed up in waterproof bag all day.


Left my bike lock at home and had to bring my bike in the lab today. Lesson learned: do not leave house without drinking at least one cup of coffee.

I did see Barb though, also on her way to work.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

CycleFit and Commute

Holy shit, I'm awesome. I decided to go to CycleFit today since I bought the punch card for the summer sessions and hadn't used it yet and I was hoping it would be cooler for my ride home by the time it was over. I am so glad I went. Best idea I've had all week! Last time I went to CycleFit, I was ecstatic at a PR of 422 kJ burned. Well, here comes the awesome part. I totally blew that out of the water today with 468 kJ burned. I am so happy about how I've been improving. Improvements were also evident in pretty much every exercise we did today. My cadence is still a little slower than it should be (maybe I should think about getting a cadence sensor for my bike...), but otherwise I feel that I am doing quite well. Also, my plan totally worked as my ride home was much cooler. I was also inspired to go as fast as I could up the hills instead of sitting and spinning slowly like I normally do. That turned out to be a good plan too as the thunder started rolling right as I pulled up my driveway.

So, yeah, awesome afternoon for me today. :)


Still hot, but I made all the lights today!

I think I want to add The Hub Ride to my calendar of cycling events.

Monday, July 11, 2011


OMG it is so hot outside. And a headwind!

No people on the trail this afternoon. I did see two deer though. And in other news, I'm leaning towards the iphone.


Lots of people on the Clear Creek trail this morning. No numbers because my computer still is not working. :-/

Now eyeballing:


Also taking suggestions for upgrades. Lots of stuff out there. I like reviews. :)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Goat

I rode in The Goat Ride today. It was based out of Brown County State Park and featured a lot of Brown County hills. I had wanted to do all four routes offered for a total of 116 miles and to be the first woman to do so. However, I decided fairly early that I didn't want to do the 12-mile Firecracker ride, but thought I may still make it a century and do the other three loops. Alas, the 90-degree weather and my sore knee limited me to the two longer loops, The Witch and The Big Bear.

The Witch

Time: 3:09:58

Distance: 44.544 miles

Average Speed: 14.0 mph

Max Speed: 32.8 mph

Witch is right! I'm not ashamed to say that I walked up Boltinghouse hill with it's 24% grade. And even walking up it was painful! However, at the top, a church was playing its bells, which was quite lovely.

This route was pretty nice otherwise. South Shore Dr by Lake Lemon is beautiful and I may add that to some of my rides in the future.

This is a picture of a railroad line that I first rode under and then viewed across the lake. It was really cool.

I also saw a woman and her son from my church. They were riding a different loop, but had stopped at the same store as me. We chatted for a bit while we rehydrated and I ate a fudge round. Mostly about the routes we'd done so far and the MRT trip.

The only bad thing about this route (other than Boltinghouse hill!) was that there were no public restrooms and I had to pee about 3 miles after leaving the park. So this ride was doubly painful for me!

Overall though, I feel that I did pretty well on The Witch.

When I made it back to the park, they had lunch going. I had a hot dog topped with BBQ, some mac and cheese, a banana, and some cantaloupe/watermelon fruit salad. They had lots of other foods too. It was a good spread.

The Big Bear

Time: 1:04:24 (~3 hours)

Distance: 12.665 miles (34 miles)

Average Speed: 11.8 mph (???)

Max Speed: 33.6 mph (???)

I had reset my cycle computer at lunch so that I could get the breakdown of the different loops. However, for reasons unclear to me, it decided to stop working ~13 miles into my second loop. For the life of me, I couldn't get it to read, even though it seemed as if it should be operable. So who knows what kind of numbers I had on this loop.

I really need a new cycle computer. I may move it to the top spot on my birthday list.

I didn't walk any hills on this ride, but I did get really, really hot and had to stop on one of them for a good while. The noon hour is not meant for being in the sun!

The big climb, Bear Wallow Hill, was difficult but manageable. I actually found the "rollers" near Sweetwater and Cordry Lakes to be pretty tough. They were quite steep and just kept getting larger. It was constant up and down. It made me pretty tired and really thirsty and warm water just wasn't cutting it. I kept waiting on a store to appear because I really wanted a Coke. Then, after (what felt like) miles and miles, this appeared:

I think I heard angels singing. I stopped and put my $1.25 in and pushed the Coke button... and got root beer. I don't really like root beer, but this was the best damn root beer I've ever had.

Then I continued on until I got to the dams along the lakes. These were awesome. I was pretty tempted to go for a swim. Lots of people at the beaches and on boats and the water looked quite inviting. The hills on the other side were pretty impressive too. I think it made all that hard work worth the effort.

I saw lots of farms, mostly corn, but just had to stop for a picture of this barn.

Finally, I stopped at an awesome country store where I got a banana to eat in their lovely shade. I talked to a couple other cyclists who were doing the Baby Bear route and had stopped there as well.

I feel that I was a little sluggish on this second ride, mostly due to heat, but it was a very nice ride.

Overall, I'm glad I did this ride. I'm sad I didn't make the 116 Mile Club, or even make it a century, but I'm mostly sad because I really wanted to do the Baby Bear! I'll definitely go back and ride that route too. :)

Finally, here's the completion coins I got for The Witch and The Big Bear.

Friday, July 8, 2011


Time: 55:03

Distance: 11.452 miles

Average Speed: 12.4 mph

Max Speed: 27.6 mph

Calories Burned: 385.2

Fat Burned: 42.0 g

I guess I forgot to reset my cycle computer after this morning's commute.

Stopped by Bikesmiths on the way home so they could look over my bike to make sure the few mechanical things I've done lately don't look too wonky. They told me I worry too much. :)

Also, my bike rolled over 1000 miles today.


Time: 26:28

Distance: 5.411 miles

Average Speed: 12.2 mph

Max Speed: 27.6 mph

Calories Burned: 174.6

Fat Burned: 18.3 g

Had a deer encounter less than a mile from my house. Right after I turned onto the Clear Creek Trail from my neighborhood, it was hiding on the side in the tall grass. I almost didn't even see it. Luckily I did though, and was able to slow down and pass it without it bolting in front of me. Despite the initial fear, it was pretty cool to be like five feet away from a deer.

Showered at the HPER this morning. I think this will work out well. I do, however, have to get a few things to make this process a little easier. But, I feel much better not being so gross at work. :)

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Time: 40:50

Distance: 8.888 miles

Average Speed: 13.0 mph

Max Speed: 52.2 mph

Calories Burned: 298.0

Fat Burned: 32.6 g

Rode to bell choir, then home. I definitely did not go 52.2 mph at any point. I was stopped at a stop light between cars and noticed my computer bouncing around in the 47-52 mph range. Not sure what caused that. Strong magnetic field?

Got my locker at the HPER. Yay for showering after commuting tomorrow. :)


Time: 24:32

Distance: 5.042 miles

Average Speed: 12.3 mph

Max Speed: 29.5 mph

Calories Burned: 158.5

Fat Burned: 16.7 g

I may decide not to document all my commuting since I do it every day, twice a day now. We'll see. :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Time: 24:39

Distance: 5.249 miles

Average Speed: 12.8 mph

Max Speed: 27.9 mph

Calories Burned: 179.5

Fat Burned: 20.0 g

Should have taken my sunglasses today!

Shameless plug

in an effort to win a messenger bag.

One of my best friends runs a giveaway blog Yours to Win. Right now she is giving away a ChicoBag Messenger bag. I kind of want this thing. :)

Check out her review!


Time: 24:25

Distance: 4.971 miles

Average Speed: 12.2 mph

Max Speed: 27.5 mph

Calories Burned: 158.7

Fat Burned: 16.8 g

The HPER caught on fire yesterday. I really do have to go all the way to the SRSC to shower and whatnot. Sigh.

Tuesdays with Brett

Time: 2:37:52

Distance: 31.460 miles

Average Speed: 11.9 mph

Max Speed: 42.7 mph

Calories Burned: 1007.8

Fat Burned: 97.5 g

Yay for resuming Tuesdays with Brett! Double yay for it being Brett's first 30-miler!

Here's the route:

This is a pretty nice route. Very similar to the Memorial Day ride I did.

Great weather, lots of cows (especially the cute baby ones), and tons and tons of bunnies.

This was a leisurely ride and I'm glad for that as my knees started hurting after about 20 miles or so. I think it's aggravated, and possibly even caused by, unclipping my feet from the pedals. I have my pedals set as loose as they will go and cleaned out the gunk so they're not really going to get easier to unclip from. Of course, it could be something else entirely. This is really a learn as you go process.

I will say though that touring is awesome! The Buddhist Temple hill was like a bump and I didn't even know I was on Fire House Hill until I got to the top and saw the fire house. That's a pretty awesome feeling.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

"Recovery" Ride

Time: 40:32

Distance: 9.587 miles

Average Speed: 14.1 mph

Max Speed: 30.48 mph

Calories Burned: 320.6

Fat Burned: 37.2 g

I mapped out a 20-mile loop to ride before church this morning, but about three miles in I realized I forgot my water bottle, so I took a connector street and cut out just over half of it. I guess I'll have to wait to see Lake Monroe tomorrow.

I think it's kind of good I forgot my water bottle 1.) because I got a later start than I meant to (mishap with the coffee maker) and 2.) my knees started to hurt again.

I thought my knees were feeling better, but I guess they're still not 100% after the test I put them through on the MRT tour. I think I need to play with my cleat alignment. I'm slightly worried about this as I just yesterday registered for The Goat Ride this coming weekend. I really want to be the first woman to ride all four loops for 116 miles total, but if my knees hurt too bad, I'll have to only do a couple loops.

However, the brake pads I replaced yesterday performed quite well. That is to say, I was able to stop. Yay for slowly and surely becoming a bicycle mechanic. :)

Friday, July 1, 2011


Time: 23:13

Distance: 5.137 miles

Average Speed: 13.2 mph

Max Speed: 23.4 mph

Calories Burned: 171.8

Fat Burned: 19.8 g

Commuting is way easy after doing a bike tour. Also, I think I'm going with the gym option. The shower in chemistry was a little scary.


Time: 24:55

Distance: 4.991 miles

Average Speed: 12.0 mph

Max Speed: 29.4 mph

Calories Burned: 155.6

Fat Burned: 16.0 g

Woke up to my alarm clock chanting "TGIF! TGIF!" and some really cool looking clouds. My parking permit expired yesterday so now I have to commute in to work as well as back home everyday, at least until my husband is finished with his stint at Purdue.

I tried to take it easy this morning so I wouldn't get all sweaty, but the humidity really just doesn't make that an option for me, even though I wore shorts and sandals! I swear the other bike commuters I saw this morning weren't sweating, but maybe they live a lot closer to campus than I do. Or I'm a sweaty freak. One or the other. So I think I should discard the shower at home option. Guess I'll locate the showers in the chemistry building sometime today. The other option is ride to the opposite end of campus to shower at the SRSC, which would most likely involve renting a locker, and then ride back down to Simon. More testing will optimize this procedure.

Although I have to say commuting into work is a whole different ride than going home. It's more peaceful. I like it. Also, I saw a stop sign that someone had stuck a homophobia sticker to (looked like a bumper sticker) so that it said "STOP HOMOPHOBIA." A good sentiment for a TGIF!